Army Group South

Army Group South ( _de. Heeresgruppe Süd) was the name of a number of German Army Groups during World War II.

Poland campaign

Germany used two army groups to invade Poland in 1939: Army Group North and Army Group South. In this campaign Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein.

Eastern Front

Army Group South was one of three army groups into which the Germans organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group South's principal objective was to capture Ukraine and its capital Kiev. The Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler's plans for Lebensraum ('living space').

Army Group South was then to advance up to the Volga River, subsequently draining a portion of the Red Army and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North and the Army Group Center on their approach to Leningrad and Moscow respectively.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group and the German Sixth, Seventeenth and Eleventh Armies, and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies.

The German Sixth Army, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was later made part of Army Group South.

In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two armies: Army Group A and Army Group B.

In February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere.

On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South.

Order of Battle for Army Group South, October 1944

At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again re-named. As Army Group Ostmark, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.

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